Cultivation of Enigma

By Faruk Ulay
[Pasadena, California]: Faruk Ulay, 2011. Edition of 125.

7" x 7"; 80 pages. Full color digital offset printing. Perfect bound, soft cover binding. Signed by the artist.

Faruk Ulay: "A portfolio in a book format, comprising thirty-six photographs and an accompanying text. The prevailing sentiment here is silence, broken with simple questions and worries about history being erased aggressively and future is being built on the ghost of a past. Cultural geography is visualized through mute photographs of disappearing urban architecture; silence and muteness are treated like covert protestations, and simple observations of decay are transformed into a fount eternal truths."

Levi Sherman, Journal of Artists' Books: "In Cultivation of Enigma, Faruk Ulay questions the price of progress. The book presents thirty-six photos of architecture from a bygone era, each one accompanied with a bit of text that ruminates on the photo’s subject and its place within a narrative of the systematic destruction of the past to make way for the future. The photographs further evoke a feeling of nostalgia through their plastic lens aesthetic, square format, and white frames. The book represents captivating images and text in a consistent format that nonetheless propels the reader forward. Each pair is meaningful and engaging, but when taken as a whole they serve as case studies for a much larger trend. Ultimately, the book urges readers to consider the urban environment with awareness and criticality, to ponder our cultural geography and history."